Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
I woke up one morning with this thought, “I can change” and I knew this is what I would be writing about in my next blog. As a matter of fact, change is not only a spiritual reality; it is scientifically proven.
Neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity, refers to the brain’s ability to change throughout life. The human brain has the amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells (neurons). The brain has neural pathways like superhighways of nerve cells that transmit messages. These pathways are intensified when a certain behavior, thought or habit is repeated.
So bringing about a change in behavior or thought would involve the same type of repetition. Change in the brain can literally be seen. When a behavior is repeated everyday your brain creates a pathway. You can literally see change in the brain.
I heard a preacher last Saturday use this scripture: “It is God who made the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades and the groups of stars in the southern sky. He does wonders that cannot be understood; he does so many miracles they cannot be counted.” Job 9:9-10(NCV)
And then the preacher said “This same God has given us the great capacity for transformation”. I thought, my God! You gave us the capacity to change. This is where we come to our key verse 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Did you notice “Do not” and“be”? These are imperatives, in other words they are a verb (action word) with a command. God will only do his part (renewing your mind) after you’ve done your part (“Do Not” and “Be”).
I have to admit, as a Christian, I’ve heard this many times before taught in many different ways. But it never gets old for me. I need to hear it every single time. God wants to change me but I must not be afraid of change, or hinder the change, or delay the change.
I am reminded again. I am challenged and inspired again. If you are struggling believing that you will ever change or that God is able to change your circumstances. I want to leave you with this picture.
This is an event here in Colombia (I’m writing from Cartagena, Colombia) where 80,000 church members (one church, many campuses) came together to have an evangelistic campaign. Each campus was assigned a different t-shirt color and was assigned a section to stand in. If you look it won’t be hard to see the form of a dove (the blue section). Here’s the real interesting part – this was not planned. They took an arial picture of the crowd and then saw this dove. Amazing!
Why am I showing you this picture? First of all, it’s super cool! But really it’s because this serves as a reminder, to you, to me, to everyone who believes there is a God, that the God we serve is a miracle working God who created us to miraculously change throughout our lives. “We are created for transformation”. Remember that verse in Job? “He does wonders”. He does it in us – our miracle working, powerful water walking, universe creating God. And he calls us to walk with him in this transformational journey. What a great God we serve!
Pastor Elizabeth leads Radiant Women's Ministry. She and her husband, Wilfredo De Jesus, are the senior pastors of New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois.